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Experts want to banish the term “man flu” after proving it hits women harder than blokes.
Scientists studied symptoms of the lurgy in more than 100 male and female subjects and found barely any differences between the sexes when it came to the severity of runny noses, headaches, chills or sleep loss.
But researchers also concluded men’s flu symptoms were milder on average than women’s.
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The study by the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria, published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research said:
“‘Man flu’ is a popular term to describe hypersensitivity to acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) in men.
“While this pop-cultural description may influence the social perspective of ARS, so far, no prospective observational data on the gender-specific natural development of ARS is available.
“Although a certain gender difference was found both in the clinician as well as patient-rated ARS symptoms, the hypothesis of a ‘man flu’ should be disregarded.
“Gender differences in ARS symptomatology should be carefully evaluated without stigmatising symptom distress based on gender perceptions.”
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The findings challenge previous studies that have suggested men suffer more from colds and flu, with higher temperatures and death rates than women.
But the scientists admitted women tended to recover more quickly, which may be due to female sex hormones such as oestrogen which can help the immune system fight viruses.
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- Health issues
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